Pennsylvania hospitals bristle at proposed Medicaid cuts
State Medicaid budgets continue to come up in arrears, with Pennsylvania being the latest to hit the skids. Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget for fiscal 2010-11 includes a provision to cut the state's Medicaid payments to hospitals by $31.9 million. That move would also eliminate $41.5 million in federal matching funds. So Pennsylvania hospitals would be forced to swallow a total cutback of $73.4 million.
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) in Harrisburg is not happy. "At a time when Medicaid enrollment is increasing and more people are losing health insurance due to unemployment, payments to hospitals who are the healthcare safety net for these Pennsylvanians cannot be cut," says HAP President and CEO Carolyn Scanlan.
In addition, hospitals are among the state's "largest and most stable" employers, she notes. With statewide unemployment at its highest in almost a quarter-century, state lawmakers need to ensure hospitals can remain viable employers.